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Dermatitis herpetiformis treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions

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Can I talk to a doctor on Maple about dermatitis herpetiformis?

Yes, a doctor from Maple will be happy to discuss dermatitis herpetiformis with you.

Before offering a dermatitis herpetiformis diagnosis, the doctor will most likely suggest you have additional testing performed to confirm the condition, before offering any dermatitis herpetiformis treatment options or dermatitis herpetiformis prescriptions.

Can I get a prescription on Maple?

Yes, our physicians can prescribe dermatitis herpetiformis medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or to have it delivered right to your door at no additional cost.

You can visit our How it works page to learn more.

What is dermatitis herpetiformis?

Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a manifestation of celiac disease (CD) that appears on the skin.

It’s an autoimmune skin condition that’s both rare and chronic.

What are the symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis?

The most common symptoms and signs of dermatitis herpetiformis are:

  • Groups of raised red skin lesions
  • Fluid-filled sores
  • Blisters that are intensely itchy.
  • Rashes that look like hives.

These symptoms and signs of dermatitis herpetiformis most frequently appear on:

  • Knees
  • Elbows
  • Buttocks
  • Back
  • Scalp
  • Shoulder blades

While the symptoms are less common, you could experience some gastrointestinal dermatitis herpetiformis symptoms, as a result of its connection to celiac disease. These symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Gas or bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain

Rarely, dermatitis herpetiformis can also affect tooth enamel, causing pits, horizontal grooves, or tooth discoloration. Dermatitis herpetiformis can also cause oral ulcerations (canker sores) in rare cases as well.

What causes dermatitis herpetiformis?

The direct cause of dermatitis herpetiformis is ingesting gluten. Dermatitis herpetiformis is considered a manifestation of gluten sensitivity in genetically susceptible individuals.

Symptoms caused by dermatitis herpetiformis will resolve by removing gluten completely from your diet.

How is dermatitis herpetiformis diagnosed?

Apart from evaluating your medical history and having a physical exam performed, the doctor will most likely want you to have additional testing performed at a clinic, in order to confirm a dermatitis herpetiformis diagnosis.

This could include:

  • Skin biopsy
  • A specialized type of immunofluorescent stain (used to detect IgA antibodies)
  • Serology testing
  • Genetic testing

Once the doctor has confirmed your dermatitis herpetiformis diagnosis, they’ll be able to suggest some dermatitis herpetiformis treatments to help reduce your symptoms.

How is dermatitis herpetiformis treated?

There is no cure for dermatitis herpetiformis.

However, the doctor will often suggest prescription dermatitis herpetiformis medications (such as dapsone), to reduce your negative dermatitis herpetiformis symptoms. This should be done alongside a strict gluten-free diet.

Removing gluten from your diet by itself can cause symptoms to linger for months, or even years, before they completely resolve. Dapsone can improve skin lesions in days.

When to see a doctor for dermatitis herpetiformis?

You should talk to a doctor right away, as soon as you begin showing signs of dermatitis herpetiformis.

Once you develop dermatitis herpetiformis, you could be dealing with it for the rest of your life. The sooner you talk to your doctor and find dermatitis herpetiformis treatments that work for you, the easier it will be to manage your symptoms and minimize flare-ups.

What is Maple?

With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in minutes. We’re a healthcare platform for fast, convenient, 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.

Simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll immediately connect you to a doctor via live chat or video. You can visit our How it works page to learn more.

Our doctors can assess symptoms and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.

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